While Thailand is a great place to experience the natural beauties of the tropics, Bangkok is a giant metro area and not all that appealing to nature lovers with a short time to visit. Or is it? That’s the topic of this episode of The Bangkok Podcast.
Like everywhere, craft beer is exploding in Bangkok. But there are some subtle nuances that cause beer lovers to scratch their heads. Why is it so expensive? What’s up with “illegal” beer? And where can I get more? We’ll answer that and more on this episode of The Bangkok Podcast.
After a brief and elusive discussion of the infamous Thailand beach town Pattaya, we jump into the heart of the conversation: Beer in Thailand. Specifically, craft beer in Thailand. To make sure we cover things in an appropriate (read: true) way, we invited Brian Bartusch — co-founder of Bangkok’s largest craft beer importer, Beervana — on to the show to answer some key questions Evo — our resident beer nerd — had about the state of craft beer in Thailand.
To learn to speak Thai or not learn to speak Thai. That is the question. No, literally. It’s the question we’re asking each other on behalf of all people who come to live in Thailand. Not surprising, we have a difference of opinion.
So yeah, we’re the #1 travel podcast in Thailand. That’s kinda cool. But it’s not what we’re talking about today… (but thanks for subscribing!)
No one is going to say that Bangkok is an easy city to navigate. Near-constant congestion, poorly paved sidewalks, non-existent pedestrian crossing areas… that’s just a start. Now imagine that from the point of view of someone who uses a wheelchair. Suddenly these difficulties seem like insurmountable obstacles.
So a guy from Alaska who owns a coffee plantation in Hawaii hires a guy from Indiana who’s living in Thailand to help him grow coffee. There’s no punchline. Just a great episode of the Bangkok Podcast!
After Evo explains why he was in Finland and gives us a crash course on world travel expos (like Matka 2017) and blogger conferences (like NBE Finland), and Greg runs down his recent motorbiking misadventures in Chiang Rai, we get down to business. What business? Serious business. Coffee.
Continuing with our Buddhism series, we welcome Phra Pandit, a Brit who has been a monk in Thailand for the past 20 years and is a noted lecturer on Buddhism, dhamma, and psychology.
Desire – or the lack of it – is one of the key themes that the Buddha taught his followers. But as we find out in this very interesting discussion with Phra Pandit, it’s not as easy as saying “I can do without those cool new pair of shoes.”
If you’ve lived any amount of time overseas and returned to your home country, you’re likely familiar with reverse culture shock, the feeling that you just…somehow…don’t quite fit in to your old life anymore. It’s a disorienting feeling, and it affects everyone differently. Seeing as how Greg was back in Canada three months ago and Evo just returned from a trip to the USA, we thought’d we discuss this uniquely strange phenomenon, how it affected us, and how we deal with it.
Everyone loves Bangkok and it is indeed a great city. However, that’s not to say everything is worth seeing or doing. For this show we each come up with two items, places, or pastimes that we tell visiting friends and family or even expats new to the city of Angels that they can go ahead and avoid without losing out on everything that Bangkok has to offer.
Happy New Year everyone! The turning over of the calendar is traditionally a time to look forward and hope that the next year will be better than the last one. 2017 will be a big year in Thailand – HM King Rama X will steer the country forward, the push to change elements of Thailand’s important Buddhist sangha is gathering steam, and an election might happen.
Why is that such a big deal? Well, because despite outward appearances and contrary to what a lot of people probably think, Thailand is a military dictatorship. Okay, dictatorship might be a strong word, but the fact of the matter is that the Land of Smiles and one of the world’s busiest tourist destinations has been under military control since the most recent coup of 2014. So if an election happens this year, it will be a big deal.
On this show we (well, Greg, as Evo is traveling) will talk with Pandit about what happens when a particular Buddhist temple becomes really important. So important, in fact, that the government wants to shut it down. In this case it’s the Dhammakaya temple, which has millions of devotees all over Thailand and is led by a rather controversial monk. As of the date of this post, police have been camped outside the temple for several weeks as deadline after deadline for the surrender of the head monk have come and gone and nothing’s happened. It’s kind of like the world’s most boring standoff…but something’s got to give eventually.